NBA Energy Rankings, Week 4: Who’re the very best groups within the league proper now?
This Week: 14
Final Week: 18
Losses to the Cavaliers and Nets over the weekend received’t change the temper in Toronto, because of the mix of the five-game successful streak that preceded them, the emergence of rookie Scottie Barnes and the return of Pascal Siakam. What’s clear already is that Toronto goes to be a really uncomfortable opponent on a nightly foundation with its measurement and size throughout the board. — Bontemps
NBA Energy Rankings: Sixers on the rise, Warriors transfer to contenders tier, what I’m shopping for or promoting for every staff – The Athletic
This Week: 17
Final Week: 19
6-5, +2.7 internet ranking
Weekly slate: Win at Knicks, Win at Wizards, Loss to Cavs, Loss to Nets
Are you shopping for the Raptors as an issue within the East? Whereas the Toronto Raptors tailed off to complete the week, they lately ran off 5 straight victories. In a loss to Brooklyn on Sunday, they lastly bought Pascal Siakam again into the combo and hung robust in opposition to the Nets for a lot of the sport. The Raptors are being an absolute terror on protection most nights, and the hope is the presence of Siakam (hopefully a constant, wholesome Siakam) will regular a few of the peaks and valleys of their offensive firepower. They’re higher than league common in each offense and protection, even with all the uncertainty inside the hierarchy of their rotation ready for Siakam to return. Get Goran Dragic into the combo, and the Raptors may have some good scoring off the bench to assist complement what Nick Nurse desires them to do.
Verdict: I do purchase the Raptors as an issue within the East. Perhaps they received’t even make the second spherical of the playoffs and so they’re going to be combating to keep away from the Play-In Match. But when they do discover their method into the postseason, at worst, they’ll be one of many hardest outs conceivable.
NBA Energy Rankings: Pink-hot Warmth rise to No. 1; Lakers transfer into high 10; 76ers successful regardless of key absences – CBSSports.com
This Week: 6
Final Week: 13
Don’t look now, however that’s 5 wins in a row for the Raptors, together with 4 this week. They have been additionally in a position to decide up their final two highway wins in New York and Washington with out rookie Scottie Barnes, who’s averaging 18 factors per sport. Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby and Gary Trent Jr. carried the offense whereas the protection has remained stout.
As Sarver investigation unfolds, Watson has discovered protected harbour with Raptors – Sportsnet
The Toronto Raptors knew it was coming.
It wasn’t just like the management group knew the specifics of final week’s explosive ESPN.com story detailing the poisonous office tradition overseen by Phoenix Suns proprietor Robert Sarver.
They weren’t briefed on the a number of allegations of racist language and misogynist behaviour in an surroundings so apparently poisoned that one former human sources employees member mentioned workers have been cautioned from bringing ahead complaints for concern of reprisal.
However the broad strokes?
They knew about them partly as a result of their newly-hired assistant coach, Earl Watson, informed them what was looming earlier than he took the job: That he had gone on the document saying that in a single occasion when he was the top coach of the Suns, Sarver repeatedly used the N-word within the presence of Watson, who’s Black and Hispanic.
Being the first voice in an article that might probably find yourself toppling an NBA proprietor shouldn’t be at all times the sort of factor that one other staff would embrace in a brand new rent.
Relating to candidates for assistant coaches, groups are usually spoiled for selection. However Watson – a 13-year NBA veteran with 4 years teaching expertise together with elements of three seasons in Phoenix as head coach – is taken into account among the best for his capability to see the sport and educate in ways in which elite gamers can use.
“[He’s] someone that’s performed and has been round [great] gamers and I take into account Earl like household to me …. and he has a fantastic basketball thoughts, simply speaking to him,” mentioned Raptors ahead Pascal Siakam, who has labored with Watson within the low season for a number of years. “[I’m] simply making an attempt to study something I can. So, yeah, he’s undoubtedly a plus to us.”
These qualities apart, there was by no means any query that Watson’s stance concerning the Suns possession can be supported internally by the Raptors.
“If something, we’re going that method [in our support of social justice], we’re not going to shrink back from taking up someone due to that,” was how one individual with the Raptors put it.
With the NBA having launched a proper investigation, participating the identical regulation agency that they used earlier than forcing former Los Angeles Clippers proprietor Donald Sterling to promote the staff after video of him utilizing racist language grew to become public, the Raptors – like virtually anybody affiliated with the league – aren’t in a position to touch upon the story.
But it surely was telling that when Watson launched an announcement about his function within the story coming to gentle, it was emailed by the staff and shared on the Raptors social media channels.
“To begin with, he’s a member of our employees. I’ve gotten to know him fairly properly over these previous few months. I actually respect him and his skills,” mentioned Raptors head coach Nick Nurse on Friday. “This factor is an investigation. I’m positive the league is knee-deep into it. I don’t actually have any feedback on it particularly aside from we’ll help [Watson] as a pal, as a colleague. And our group will help him for no matter he may have.”
That Watson was the one who spoke on the document, sharing not solely the story about Sarver allegedly utilizing the N-word repeatedly, but additionally how the Suns proprietor reportedly gave him an ultimatum, demanding he reduce ties with Klutch Sports activities proprietor Wealthy Paul or be fired (Watson refused and he was fired after the Suns misplaced the primary three video games of the 2017-18 season), wasn’t a shock to those who know him.
“He’s at all times stood up for what he thought was proper,” mentioned Todd Ramasar, chief govt officer of LifeSports Company and a former school teammate of Watson’s at UCLA. “On this case, with points that tie into the larger conversations about social injustice? No, it didn’t shock me.”
Two totally different individuals who have a number of dealings with him since he purchased the staff in 2004 mentioned that the content material and tone of the allegations within the story weren’t out of character for the brash billionaire.
“Was I shocked? No, I wasn’t shocked,” mentioned one one that has recurrently achieved offers with the franchise.
Stated one other: “I by no means heard him use that sort of language, however he was simply sort of a free cannon. You’d have conferences with him and the Suns guys can be, ‘Hear, simply be ready, we by no means know what he’s going to do, we by no means know what he’s going to say.’
“Sarver tales are virtually city legend within the NBA.”
The Rap-Up: Toronto Raptors Video games for November 8-14 – Raptors HQ
Nick Nurse has an issue on his fingers.
Don’t fear, it’s a great drawback. Actually, it’s an issue that almost all groups within the NBA can be envious of, particularly this week’s opponents.
Whereas the Boston Celtics is counting on 35-year-old Al Horford to supply half-hour a sport (29.5, to be actual) at a place of want (Celtics rank useless final in opponent’s rebounds), 35-year-old Goran Dragic can’t even get rubbish time minutes for the Toronto Raptors.
Tobias Harris is the Sixers’ second-leading scorer (19.8 factors per sport), taking part in 33 minutes a sport, and ranks nineteenth within the NBA in Win Shares per 48. One spot behind Harris in twentieth is Svi Mihailiuk — who could also be out of Nurse’s 10-man rotation quickly.
The seventh decide of the 2020 NBA Draft, Killian Hayes, has began eight of Detroit’s first 9 video games. He’s contributed a grand whole of -0.1 Win Shares up to now. The twenty ninth decide from that Draft, Malachi Flynn, has solely performed 29 minutes whole and has already given Toronto 0.2 Win Shares.
Contemplate these three Raptor names listed and you may arguably identify two entire lineups that will really see the ground.
Starters: Fred VanVleet, Gary Trent Jr., OG Anunoby, Scottie Barnes, Pascal Siakam
Bench: Dalano Banton, Yuta Watanabe, Chris Boucher, Treasured Achiuwa, Khem Birch
Alright, that was a bit dramatic, as Svi, on the very least, has earned a rotation spot. Nonetheless, you possibly can see the dilemma that Nurse and his employees face.
Achiuwa has not seemed good these days, particularly when forcing pictures on offense. However do you DNP-CD a participant who simply had a three-game streak of double-doubles a mere two weeks in the past?
With Flynn beginning to see minutes once more, does Banton return to the unique plan of seeing extra time with the 905? Dalano’s been a revelation up to now and the numbers match the attention take a look at. He’s put collectively a 17.6 PER with a 61.9 TS%. The NBA participant who carefully matches these figures is Buddy Hield (17.7 PER, 61.5 TS%).
Deciding who does and doesn’t get reserve minutes are a headache by itself. The beginning unit isn’t assured both. On nights like this week (hey Joel Embiid), a standard centre might be wanted. If Birch known as upon, does the NBA’s steals chief (3.1 per sport), GTJ, or the Rookie-of-the-12 months frontrunner, Barnes, go to the bench?
Nick Nurse has an issue on his fingers, certainly. We will solely hope that’s the largest drawback he faces this week!
Raptors Star Pascal Siakam Discusses Emotional Offseason – Sports activities Illustrated
“I feel I took that day and one factor I’ve realized all through my entire profession and every part I’ve been by means of is like no one is absolutely sorry for you,” he mentioned. “I that’s the factor individuals say lots ‘Oh, you bought all this cash, we don’t care, we don’t care what you undergo.’”
“I’ve been by means of lots, a justifiable share of hardships in my life,” he added. “It as soon as in opposition to confirmed me I’m manufactured from one thing. Simply figuring out that it’s gonna be robust, however it’s a must to be sturdy.”
Then got here Sunday when Siakam walked out onto the Scotiabank Area courtroom for the primary time this season. He’d tried laborious to not make it an enormous second, but it surely was unattainable. Toronto’s Open Fitness center crew adopted him from his home to the world. When public handle announcer Herbie Kuhn known as out his identify within the beginning lineup Raptors followers erupted in applause as a smile stretched throughout Siakam’s face.
“It’s been so lengthy, taking part in on this area, and simply taking part in with my teammates and seeing the followers,” Siakam mentioned, “it was a fantastic second.”
Even on a minutes restriction, Siakam’s return to the lineup was an enormous distinction for Toronto. He roamed freely across the Raptors’ switch-everything protection and he helped transfer the ball offensively for a staff that’s struggled to attain within the half-court this season.
“I feel it’s only a reminder for the idiots on Twitter, who have gotten to beat him for the previous two years,” Fred VanVleet mentioned. “Like, it’s a must to have some information and a few really feel and also you see him on the market and also you say, properly rattling. It’s a reminder. … He’s a particular expertise.”
It’d take just a few extra video games earlier than Siakam is again in his groove once more, however Sunday was an enormous step ahead for a Raptors staff that already seems to be on target.
It has been some time for the Raptors, however the outdated Siakam seems to be again | Toronto Solar
“I feel simply due to the season that we had (it was a practice wreck) and I simply wished to return into the summer season, I had so many issues I had deliberate, and it simply felt like one other blow, like it’s a must to get by means of surgical procedure, speaking about six months, simply actually robust second for me and I bear in mind considering it was the tip of the world for me.”
Now, Siakam shouldn’t be a type of athletes that misplaced all perspective as quickly as that first massive contract was signed. He is aware of he’s speaking about an occasion that was traumatic for him, however compared to actual world trauma, it’s tiny. He is aware of that and acknowledges that but it surely doesn’t change the way in which he felt in that second.
“Clearly I do know individuals undergo much more or much more tough conditions, but it surely was simply robust and I used to be simply actually unhappy and devastated,” he mentioned.
Contributing enormously to that was a collection of setbacks and points that over the previous season and a half had robbed him of the fervour he has for the sport wherein he makes his residing.
It started again on March 10, 2020 when Rudy Gobert examined constructive for the Coronavirus previous to a sport in Oklahoma Metropolis. Siakam and the Raptors have been already again in Toronto. Half the staff was at launch occasion for the Nick Nurse Basis. The opposite half was on the second annual BasketBowl occasion in help of Large Brothers and Large Sisters hosted by teammate Norm Powell.
That evening the league shut down in response to the pandemic and the remainder of North American society mainly adopted.
Siakam would spend the majority of the subsequent three months in his Toronto condominium, not often venturing outdoors for concern of contracting the virus.
Basketball was removed from his ideas.
“I really feel like I misplaced monitor of time as quickly as I bought into quarantine,” Siakam mentioned afterwards.
Usually a man who takes a two-week break on the most within the low season, Siakam didn’t shoot a basketball for these three straight months and the results confirmed, first within the Bubble.
He was not himself and he grew to become the face and the goal of a lot of the fan disappointment.
It didn’t cease there. After a shortened low season and a hurry-up schedule have been laid out for the 2020-21 season, Siakam returned nonetheless not the participant he had been earlier than the lockdown and once more he bore the brunt of the unhappiness from inside the fanbase as that season, when the Raptors known as Tampa house, went off the rails virtually from the start.
Tip Sam Holako
Morning Espresso – Tue, Nov 9 originated on Raptors Republic.
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